The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #155130   Message #3646273
Posted By: Vic Smith
29-Jul-14 - 08:59 AM
Thread Name: New Librarian for Cecil Sharp House
Subject: New Librarian for Cecil Sharp House
Press Release today from EFDSS Information Officer -

National folk arts library and archive appoints new Director

Laura Smyth takes over as Director of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

Laura Smyth has been appointed as the new Director of the English Folk Dance and Song Society's (EFDSS) national folk music and dance library and archive, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML).

Laura takes over the role at the VWML, which is based at Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London, on 1 August. She replaces Malcolm Taylor OBE, who stepped down after almost 35 years as Library and Archive Director.

The VWML was founded in 1930 as the Cecil Sharp Library and originally housed Cecil Sharp's personal book collection. It is now a multi-media library of distinction, containing books, pamphlets, periodicals, press cuttings, broadsides, paintings, photographs, slides, artefacts, records, reel-to-reel tapes, phonograph cylinders, videos, cine films, compact discs, audio cassettes and more.

It was renamed as the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library on the death of Ralph Vaughan Williams to honour his role as President of EFDSS.

In recent years, the library and archive has been opened up to a whole new international audience, thanks to the development of The Full English, the world's largest online free digital archive of early 20th century English folk arts manuscripts, including 19 major collections.

About Laura Smyth

Laura holds a first class degree with honours in Business Enterprise, and a Postgraduate Diploma with distinction in Library and Information Management. She joined EFDSS as Librarian in 2011 from Stockport Libraries.

She has a keen interest in traditional music and performs regularly at folk clubs in a duo with her partner Ted Kemp. They are releasing their first EP The Charcoal Black and The Bonny Grey, this September.

Laura also dances and plays for a female rapper team, Tower Ravens, and plays with ceilidh band, The Spring Heeled Jacks.

She said: "To be able to marry my passion for traditional music and dance with my job is a dream come true. I am excited to be taking the position of Library and Archive Director and intend to continue Malcolm's good work making the library resources accessible to users across the world and helping people to engage with their heritage and culture."

Katy Spicer, Chief Executive of EFDSS, said: "The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) are delighted that Laura is our new Library and Archive Director.

"She has been an excellent member of the Library and Archive team for the past three years and instrumental in developing policy and practice at what has been a pivotal time for the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML).

"We know she will build on Malcolm's legacy and implement her own exciting ideas to ensure the library and archive remains as accessible as possible and keep folk traditions and the history within the collections alive for future generations."